Wilfried Zaha is currently at the centre of a transfer storm after Arsenal reportedly launched an instalment-based £40 million bid for the Crystal Palace winger but the man himself remained extremely coy about the whole thing when speaking after Ivory Coast’s win over Namibia on Monday night.
The summer has been sprinkled with media speculation over his apparent desire to fly the Palace nest, albeit without Wilfried himself coming out and categorically stating that he’d like to move on before the 2019/20 season begins. Stories talking of his “wish” to join Arsenal have appeared, as have quotes from those associated with him saying the same but as of yet, Zaha hasn’t deviated from talking strictly about football.
Sunday saw the 26-year-old wide-man reference a video of Palace’s 2013 play-off semi-final victory over Brighton on his Twitter account, alluding to the fact that he still gets goosebumps watching it now. Many saw it as a sign of his continuing loyalty to the Palace cause but just 24 hours later, supporters been given fresh reason for concern. It’s a seemingly never-ending saga that reignites every time a new transfer window opens but for Palace, anything short of an official transfer request from Zaha himself is unlikely to move them from their current stoic stance over is immediate future.
They’ve just let Aaron Wan-Bissaka move on for a fee of £45 million; the prospect of giving Zaha the green light to do the same would cause havoc with Roy Hodgson’s pre-season plans and more importantly, leave us with little time to replace the pair in a market where everyone knows our pockets are fit to burst. In truth, if Zaha has known that he’d like to leave for some time, the decision to sign a long-term, big money contract with no release clause last summer feels like a short-sighted one. Had he not done so, things would be remarkably different right now but given the circumstances, I don’t see why Palace should be lambasted for sitting tight.